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Easement over the Land

Description

Denotes the type of document/instrument registered against the property. In this case, an "easement" that indicates that others have rights over a property. There is some confusion between the terms "easement" and "right of way", as they are currently used interchangeably, when describing rights over lands. Technically, easements refer to rights relating to utility or municipal services while right of ways relate to access or passage rights for pedestrians and vehicles. The term "SUBJECT TO" is used in the case of easements to indicate that others have rights over a property, as described in some legal documents that are available in the land registry office. Easements restrict owners of land from fully utilizing their property, for example, hydro or gas utility lines not permitting erection of permanent structures over easements. As a result of their importance, by regulation, legal plans must show the location of any easements affecting the subject and adjoining properties. Since the 1960's, these easements and the properties created by severances (re-division of land) are typically described by way of convenient "graphic legal desriptions" known as reference plans (R-plans); in the past, complex written "metes and bounds" descriptions were used. Inconjunction with "SUBJECT TO" easements are: "TOGETHER WITH" easements wherein you may have rights over your neighbour's lands; and "RESERVING AN EASEMENT" where new easements are created within legal documents such as transfer "deeds".

Purpose

Identifies the existence of easements, and their location. Easement document will reveal the purpose and the impact on the property.

Why is this important?

Easements typically restrict property owners from fully utilizing their land. Understanding if your land is subject to easement (or if you have easements over your neighbour's lands) allows you to understand what you can (and cannot) do with your property.